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1993 Stanley Cup playoffs


1993 Stanley Cup playoffs

The 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs, the championship of the National Hockey League (NHL), began at the conclusion of the 1992–93 NHL season on April 18, and ended with the Stanley Cup win on June 9.

The Presidents' Trophy-winning Pittsburgh Penguins, who had won the Stanley Cup the previous two years, were the favourite to "three-peat" (Just like the NBA's Chicago Bulls). However, both conferences saw numerous upsets (The 3rd place team in every division reached their respective conference finals), and the championship went instead to the Montreal Canadiens, who won in a five-game series with the Los Angeles Kings. The Canadiens had 11 consecutive wins in total (tying the record), and they also set an NHL playoff record by winning 10 overtime games.

This was the first time since the 1979 NHL-WHA merger that the Edmonton Oilers had missed the playoffs. It was also the first time that longtime Oiler and then-New York Rangers captain Mark Messier had missed the playoffs in his career.

This was the only year between 1984 and 1994 that the Bruins and Canadiens did not face each other in the playoffs.

Playoff bracket

  Division semi-finals Division finals Conference finals Stanley Cup final
1  Boston Bruins 0  
4  Buffalo Sabres 4  
  3  Montreal Canadiens 4  
  4  Buffalo Sabres 0  
2  Quebec Nordiques 2
3  Montreal Canadiens 4  
  A3  Montreal Canadiens 4  
Prince of Wales Conference
  P3  New York Islanders 1  
1  Pittsburgh Penguins 4  
4  New Jersey Devils 1  
  1  Pittsburgh Penguins 3
  3  New York Islanders 4  
2  Washington Capitals 2
3  New York Islanders 4  
  A3  Montreal Canadiens 4
  S3  Los Angeles Kings 1
1  Chicago Blackhawks 0  
4  St. Louis Blues 4  
  3  Toronto Maple Leafs 4
  4  St. Louis Blues 3  
2  Detroit Red Wings 3
3  Toronto Maple Leafs 4  
  N3  Toronto Maple Leafs 3
Clarence Campbell Conference
  S3  Los Angeles Kings 4  
1  Vancouver Canucks 4  
4  Winnipeg Jets 2  
  1  Vancouver Canucks 2
  3  Los Angeles Kings 4  
2  Calgary Flames 2
3  Los Angeles Kings 4  

Division semi-finals

Adams Division

Boston vs. Buffalo

Although Boston had entered the playoffs with the second best record in the entire NHL and the Sabres had the second lowest point total of any playoff team, Buffalo upset the Bruins by sweeping the heavily favored Boston squad. The fourth game saw Brad May's game-winning goal in overtime, which has become famous in NHL lore thanks to Rick Jeanneret's "May day!" call.

  • April 18 - Buffalo 5 Boston 4 (OT)
  • April 20 - Buffalo 4 Boston 0
  • April 22 - Boston 3 Buffalo 4 (OT)
  • April 24 - Boston 5 Buffalo 6 (OT)

Buffalo wins best-of-seven series 4–0

Quebec vs. Montreal

The Canadiens lost the first two games of this series against the rival Nordiques, due in part to a couple of weak goals let in by star Montreal goaltender (and Quebec City native) Patrick Roy. Afterward, a newspaper in Roy's hometown district suggested that he be traded, while Nordiques goaltending coach Dan Bouchard also proclaimed that his team had solved Roy. However, Montreal coach Jacques Demers held himself to a promise he had made to Roy earlier in the season and kept him as the starting goalie.

With the Habs staring a potential 3–0 series deficit to the Nords in the face, overtime in Game 3 was marked by two disputed goals that were reviewed by the video goal judge. The first review ruled that Stephan Lebeau had knocked the puck in with a high stick, but the second upheld the Habs' winning goal, as it was directed in by the skate of Quebec defenceman Alexei Gusarov and not that of a Montreal player.

As it turned out, this was the final playoff series between the provincial rivals before the Nordiques moved to Denver in 1995 and became the Colorado Avalanche.

  • April 18 - Montreal 2 Quebec 3 (OT)
  • April 20 - Montreal 1 Quebec 4
  • April 22 - Quebec 1 Montreal 2 (OT)
  • April 24 - Quebec 2 Montreal 3
  • April 26 - Montreal 5 Quebec 4 (OT)
  • April 28 - Quebec 2 Montreal 6

Montreal wins best-of-seven series 4–2

Patrick Division

Pittsburgh vs. New Jersey

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champions were a heavy favorite to be the first team since the 1980-83 New York Islanders to win more than two consecutive Cups. Entering the playoffs as the Presidents' Trophy winner, the Penguins faced off against the #4 qualifier from their division, the New Jersey Devils, who were making their fourth straight appearance in the playoffs after several years of struggling. By winning the first three games of the series, Pittsburgh extended its playoff winning streak to fourteen games, dating back to game 4 of their 1992 Patrick Division Final against the New York Rangers, and set an overall playoff record for longest winning streak. The streak ended in Game 4 when the Devils were able to stave off elimination, but the Penguins quickly closed out the Devils in the next game to advance.

  • April 18 - New Jersey 3 Pittsburgh 6
  • April 20 - New Jersey 0 Pittsburgh 7
  • April 22 - Pittsburgh 4 New Jersey 3
  • April 25 - Pittsburgh 1 New Jersey 4
  • April 26 - New Jersey 2 Pittsburgh 5

Pittsburgh wins best-of-seven series 4–1

Washington vs. New York Islanders

The Islanders were returning to the playoffs after missing them the past two seasons while the Capitals were looking to win their first series in the last two years. Instead, the Islanders won in a six-game series for their first playoff series win since defeating Washington in a seven-game affair in 1987.

Game 6 of this series was marred by a vicious hit by the Capitals' Dale Hunter on the Islanders' leading scorer, Pierre Turgeon, moments after Turgeon scored a third-period goal to put the game and the series out of reach for Washington. Turgeon suffered a separated shoulder on the play and missed almost all of the next round. Hunter received a 21-game suspension for his actions, the longest in NHL history up to that time, which was served during the 1993–94 season.

  • April 18 - New York Islanders 1 Washington 3
  • April 20 - New York Islanders 5 Washington 4 (2OT)
  • April 22 - Washington 3 New York Islanders 4 (OT)
  • April 24 - Washington 3 New York Islanders 4 (2OT)
  • April 26 - New York Islanders 4 Washington 6
  • April 28 - Washington 3 New York Islanders 5

NYI win best-of-seven series 4–2

Norris Division

Chicago vs. St. Louis

The Blackhawks, on an overtime goal in Game 4, became the second division champion after the Bruins to be swept in the first round of the playoffs. Chicago goaltender Ed Belfour complained that St. Louis star Brett Hull had interfered with him on the play, but to no avail as the tally stood as the game- and series-winner. Belfour famously went on a rampage after the game, breaking a hot tub, coffee maker, and television in the visitors' locker room at the St. Louis Arena. In 1999, Hawk fans would be left to contemplate the irony of the situation when Belfour and Hull were teammates on the Cup-winning Dallas Stars, who in 1993 were known as the Minnesota North Stars. With the sweep at the hands of the Blues, Chicago saw their playoff losing streak extended to eight games, dating back to the Stanley Cup Finals of the previous year against the Penguins.

  • April 18 - St. Louis 4 Chicago 3
  • April 21 - St. Louis 2 Chicago 0
  • April 23 - Chicago 0 St. Louis 3
  • April 25 - Chicago 3 St. Louis 4 (OT)

St. Louis wins best-of-seven series 4–0

Detroit vs. Toronto

In a revival of the heated Original Six rivalry, Nikolai Borschevsky's Game 7 overtime goal gave Toronto the series and made them the sixth club to eliminate a team with a better regular season record in the first round of the playoffs. This was also Toronto's first playoff series win over Detroit since the Leafs beat the Wings in the seven-game 1964 Stanley Cup Finals.

  • April 19 - Toronto 3 Detroit 6
  • April 21 - Toronto 2 Detroit 6
  • April 23 - Detroit 2 Toronto 4
  • April 25 - Detroit 2 Toronto 3
  • April 27 - Toronto 5 Detroit 4 (OT)
  • April 29 - Detroit 7 Toronto 3
  • May 1 - Toronto 4 Detroit 3 (OT)

Toronto wins best-of-seven series 4–3

Smythe Division

Vancouver vs. Winnipeg

The Smythe Division champions from Vancouver managed to shut down the Jets in six games and eliminate them for a second year in a row. Game 6, however, was not without controversy. Greg Adams would score the first goal for the Canucks, however, video replay showed the goal was clearly scored with a high-stick, but still counted. Adams would go on to score the game winner in overtime, once again, the goal was surrounded with controversy as video replay showed Adams crashing into the net and goalie Bob Essensa, then sending the puck into the net with the back of his skate. The goal also counted and Jet fans in attendance began to throw debris onto the ice in frustration with the call.

  • April 19 - Winnipeg 2 Vancouver 4
  • April 21 - Winnipeg 2 Vancouver 3
  • April 23 - Vancouver 4 Winnipeg 5
  • April 25 - Vancouver 3 Winnipeg 1
  • April 27 - Winnipeg 4 Vancouver 3 (OT)
  • April 29 - Vancouver 4 Winnipeg 3 (OT)

Vancouver wins best-of-seven series 4–2

Calgary vs. Los Angeles

The Kings upset the Flames in a high-scoring six-game series. The winning team scored 9 goals in 3 of the 6 games. However, the series turned in the lowest scoring game. Trailing 2 games to 1 and having lost 2 straight, Kings coach Barry Melrose inserted backup goalie Robb Stauber for the struggling Kelly Hrudey, who had allowed 17 goals in 3 games. Stauber played brilliantly in the Kings 3-1 win; instead of going back to Calgary down 3 games to 1, it was a brand new series, tied at 2 wins apiece. Stauber remained the Kings' starting goalie until game 2 of the next series against Vancouver, when Hrudey took his job back for the remainder of the playoffs. However, it was the Kings offense that was largely responsible for winning the series, scoring 9 goals in games 5 and 6.

  • April 18 - Los Angeles 6 Calgary 3
  • April 21 - Los Angeles 4 Calgary 9
  • April 23 - Calgary 5 Los Angeles 2
  • April 25 - Calgary 1 Los Angeles 3
  • April 27 - Los Angeles 9 Calgary 4
  • April 29 - Calgary 6 Los Angeles 9

Los Angeles wins best-of-seven series 4–2

Division finals

Adams Division Final: Montreal vs. Buffalo

The long-awaited series between two of the NHL's top goaltenders, Montreal's Patrick Roy and Buffalo's Grant Fuhr, had finally arrived. However, the Canadiens swept the series, winning every game by a score of 4–3 and claiming the Adams Division championship. As in their previous series, the Habs played three overtime games, this time winning all three.

  • May 2 - Buffalo 3 Montreal 4
  • May 4 - Buffalo 3 Montreal 4 (OT)
  • May 6 - Montreal 4 Buffalo 3 (OT)
  • May 8 - Montreal 4 Buffalo 3 (OT)

Montreal wins best-of-seven series 4–0

Patrick Division Final: Pittsburgh vs. New York Islanders

The Islanders upset the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champions to win the last Patrick Division playoff championship. David Volek's overtime goal in Game 7 was the deciding tally, as New York rallied from a 3-2 deficit to defeat the Penguins. Islanders defenceman Darius Kasparaitis played a large role in his team's win, neutralizing Pittsburgh stars Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr with big hits. With their upset of the Pens, the Isles reached the Wales Conference Finals for the first time since 1984, which saw the Islanders make their fifth consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

  • May 2 - New York Islanders 3 Pittsburgh 2
  • May 4 - New York Islanders 0 Pittsburgh 3
  • May 6 - Pittsburgh 3 New York Islanders 1
  • May 8 - Pittsburgh 5 New York Islanders 6
  • May 10 - New York Islanders 3 Pittsburgh 6
  • May 12 - Pittsburgh 5 New York Islanders 7
  • May 14 - New York Islanders 4 Pittsburgh 3 (OT)

New York Islanders win best-of-seven series 4–3

Norris Division Final: Toronto vs. St. Louis

The Maple Leafs defeated the Blues in seven games to win the Norris Division playoffs, despite Blues' goaltender Curtis Joseph's best efforts. St. Louis was heavily outshot throughout the series, including more than 60 shots in Game 1 alone. Game 7 of the series was the first to be played at Maple Leaf Gardens since Game 7 of the 1964 Stanley Cup Finals, when Andy Bathgate scored the Cup-clinching goal for the Leafs over the Red Wings.

  • May 3 - St. Louis 1 Toronto 2 (2OT)
  • May 5 - St. Louis 2 Toronto 1 (2OT)
  • May 7 - Toronto 3 St. Louis 4
  • May 9 - Toronto 4 St. Louis 1
  • May 11 - St. Louis 1 Toronto 5
  • May 13 - Toronto 1 St. Louis 2
  • May 15 - St. Louis 0 Toronto 6

Toronto wins best-of-seven series 4–3

Smythe Division Final: Vancouver vs. Los Angeles

The Vancouver Canucks, who easily won the regular season Smythe Division title, were strong favourites over the Kings. Especially winning all home games against the Kings. Their 5-2 win in game 1 did nothing to change that. Kings coach Barry Melrose re-inserted Kelly Hrudey as the Kings starting goalie in game 2 and he responded with a strong effort as the Kings evened the series with a 6-3 win. After the teams split the two games in Los Angeles, they headed back to Vancouver for the crucial game 5. Kings fourth line forward Gary Shuchuk scored on a rebound during a goal mouth scramble late in the second overtime, and the Kings skated off the ice in front of a stunned Vancouver home crowd with a 3-2 series lead. Back in Los Angeles for game 6, the Canucks could not recover; the Kings jumped out to a 5-1 lead in game 6 and won the series despite two late Canuck goals. Thus the Kings advanced to the Campbell Conference finals as the winners of the Smythe Division playoffs.

It was the only one of the twelve Smythe Division Finals contested from 1982 through 1993 to be won by the LA Kings (The only American team in this division).

  • May 2 - Los Angeles 2 Vancouver 5
  • May 5 - Los Angeles 6 Vancouver 3
  • May 7 - Vancouver 4 Los Angeles 7
  • May 9 - Vancouver 7 Los Angeles 2
  • May 11 - Los Angeles 4 Vancouver 3 (2OT)
  • May 13 - Vancouver 3 Los Angeles 5

Los Angeles wins best-of-seven series 4–2

Conference finals

All teams in the Conference finals were seeded third in their division.

Wales Conference Final: Montreal vs. New York Islanders

The Canadiens came into the series very well rested after having eight days off following their four game sweep of the Sabres, while the Islanders came in very weary after eliminating the Penguins two days earlier. Montreal's win in game three was their eleventh straight, tying the single-playoff record set a year earlier by Pittsburgh and Chicago. They also added two more overtime victories, bringing their total to seven straight for the playoffs (they lost their first OT game in this year's playoffs), and won the final Wales Conference championship.

Montreal won series 4-1

Campbell Conference Final: Toronto vs. Los Angeles

This was the first conference final since 1982 not to have either the Calgary Flames or the Edmonton Oilers representing the Smythe Division, and the only one between 1982 and 1994 not to feature a team from Western Canada. The Toronto Maple Leafs iced a competitive team for the first time in many years and were hoping to reach the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since their championship in 1967. The Los Angeles Kings, led by captain Wayne Gretzky, also had high ambitions. Gretzky had never played a postseason game in Toronto prior to the series. During Game 1, Los Angeles blue-liner Marty McSorley delivered a serious open-ice hit on Toronto's Doug Gilmour. Leafs captain Wendel Clark took exception to the hit and went after McSorley for striking their star player, and Toronto coach Pat Burns tried scaling the bench to get at Los Angeles coach Barry Melrose because he thought Melrose ordered the hit on Gilmour (McSorley later remarked in interviews that he received dozens of messages threatening death on his hotel phone from angry fans).

Toronto took a 3–2 series lead heading into the controversial Game 6 in Los Angeles. With the game tied at 4-4 in overtime, Gretzky high-sticked Gilmour in the face, cutting his chin open.[1] Many thought that referee Kerry Fraser should have called a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct on the play (generally given for high sticking penalties that result in a cut at that time; linesmen can also call penalties for stick infractions, or at least advise the referee that an infraction occurred). However, Gretzky was not penalized and went on to score the winning goal moments later, evening the series at 3–3. In Game 7 at Toronto, Gretzky scored a hat trick (three goals) and added an assist to give the Kings another 5-4 win and the first Stanley Cup Finals berth in team history. Gretzky later called Game 7 of the 1993 Campbell Conference Finals the greatest game he had ever played.

Los Angeles won series 4-3


This was Montreal's first trip to the Final since 1989. It was Los Angeles' first appearance ever in the Final, and Wayne Gretzky's first and only appearance in the Final with the Kings. Montreal would capture their 24th and most recent Stanley Cup championship.

Montreal won series 4-1


See also

Preceded by
1992 Stanley Cup playoffs
Stanley Cup playoffs Succeeded by
1994 Stanley Cup playoffs

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